I feel fragile, like if somebody looked at me the wrong way I might shatter into a million pieces and never be whole again.
Author: Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Release Date: January 5th, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.
Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.
When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process
“What I couldn’t tell him was that I wanted, for some desperate reason, for Jillian’s first time to be what mine never was. Jillian was everything I wasn’t–pure, innocent, and unaware of how much pain the opposite sex could inflict, physically and emotionally.”
Mercedes has made it her mission to provide girls with the fairy-tale first time she never had. And how does she do that, you ask? By de-virginazing the boyfriends and instructing them on what a girl likes.
People, she does it to help those poor girls, who otherwise would have to live through the weird fumbling of their boyfriends while they experience their first time TOGETHER.
Virginity is supposed to be something a girl gives up only when she is ready and feels comfortable, something a girl discusses at length with her friends and flip-flops over a million times in her mind before actually doing it. A guy is expected to be born ready.
But what I realised after Tommy is that they’re not. They’re just as scared as their girlfriends, maybe even ore so because the onus is on them to be gentle, make it last, make it memorable. And most of them haven’t a clue.
And so I ask: what about the guys? Do they not deserve to experience an equally meaningful, pure and innocent first time?
Guys might not discuss their virignity as openly as girls, they might be a little more “trigger happy” than girls in the sense that they would seem to just grasp the first chance they get to get it on, be it the first time, the second time, and so on, but as Laurie Elizabeth Flynn so aptly puts it through Mercedes, boys are just the same as girls in regards of fears.
Personally, I feel like Mercedes robbed those boys of something important, thus putting them in a similar situation she had to experience.
Firsts is based on the fucked-up logic of a seventeen-years-old girl who has an equally fucked up example in her mother and an even more fucked-up experience with her own first time.
I am not putting all the blame on this girl, though. The boys had a hand in the fuck-uppery too and that’s an important thing to keep in mind, something that should have been kept in mind by the girfriends of said boys when the inevitable exposure of the whole affair happens: she might have instigated the first one, but he accepted and the other ones followed and I sure am not gonna justify them by labeling her as a slut and them as horndogs, except for 12 and 13 and that despicable and lowest example of a human being Charlie.
Overall, however, I’d say it is a pretty decent coming of age novel, with interesting and empowering themes, such as friendship, innocence, morality, and sexuality.
As a YA whose teenage main character undoubtetly undergoes a huge growth, I can appreciate Firsts.
Furthermore, unlike some other books I’ve recently read (yeah, I’m talking about you, The List), the ending left me satified.
Plus points for Zack. I loved him. I want one just like him! He was simply adorable and amazing.
I can control what happens in the chemistry lab. There’s a formula and an equation, and I know exactly what the reaction will be when I mix one thing with another. Life, not so much. Love, not at all. No matter what elements you combine, you really have no idea what happens next. It’s scary not knowing what comes next. But not knowing might also be the best part.